When even Bentley is talking plug-in hybrid for its planned SUV you have to assume the era of big, powerful luxury cars has come to an end.
Well, not really, as we’ve also seen some new extremes from the likes of Ferrari and BMW, with the F12 Berlinetta and next M6, respectively, reaching record levels of power and performance. And now, Mercedes-Benz is weighing in with some selectively leaked details about the next-generation SL65 AMG — which debuts at the New York Auto Show next month.
We’ve already gotten a peak at the SL63 AMG – yes, there are two different AMG-badged versions of the all-new Mercedes roadster. But the SL65 has always been the pinnacle for those who just can’t find enough places to spend their money. And Mercedes has to give them something to justify the price, which should be pushing well up towards the $200,000 mark when the new model reaches showrooms later this year.
For that cash you’ll get a twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter V12 making a seriously impressive 621 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque. The engine is actually a tuned-up holdover — though such updates as turbochargers with an enlarged spiral cross-section, new manifolds and optimized wastegate channels helped deliver an additional 17 hp.
So, equally significant is the switch to a new 7-speed AMG Speedshift gearbox. Until now, SL65 buyers had to suffer through a dated 5-speed, the only transmission that could handle the V12’s stump-pulling torque.